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Dollhouse (2009)

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Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject: Dollhouse (2009) Reply with quote

"Dollhouse" was a FOX TV network sf series created by Joss Whedon that ran from February 13, 2009 to November 11, 2009 for 27 episodes.

Premise } The shadowy Rossam Corporation uses mine-wiped human beings they designate as "Actives'' aka "Dolls" in order to satisfy high paying clients who use the actives for their own engagements which can range from romantic to high-risk criminal ventures.

The Actives are placed into a high-tech chair where they are imprinted with brand new memories, specialized skills and personalities required for their engagements for the clients.

The Actives true memories and personalities were willingly surrendered by them and stored on hard drives by Rossam.

The Actives were individuals who were in desperate trouble in their former lives who were helped by the corporation financially or in other ways solving the severe problems these people faced.

In return for Rossam's aid these people have signed a five-year contract that allows Rossam to utilize their minds and bodies for anyone willing to pay the high fee involved.

After serving an engagement the Actives undergo another mind~wipe erasing the persona & skills they were required for the engagement.

The Actives then return to the dollhouse they live in with innocent child-like personalities until they are required for their next engagement.

Numerous such dollhouses exist all around the world.

However, one of the females code named "Echo" is suddenly beginning to recall memories of her previous existence despite the routine purging mind-wipes she receives after the end of every engagement she has been in.

Echo's true personality is beginning to emerge and she realizes the horror of what Rossam is doing to her as well as the other Actives.

She is also discovering that not all her fellow Actives are there willingly and that Rossam has nefarious plans far beyond just being for hire by wealthy clients who want the Actives for their own purposes.

This was a fascinating show with elements of sf, espionage, criminal activity. It also delved into why individuals are who they are and just how much can they be altered and still function?

Like so many terrific sf TV shows it was sadly cancelled all too soon.
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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


IMDB has 28 trivia items for this series. Here’s a few of the ones I found the most interesting, in the blue text. Very Happy

~ Joss Whedon had a five year plan for the series and had already worked out how the characters would evolve over time but the show only ran for two seasons. With this in mind, you can see how the plots of season 2 could have been spaced out to four seasons.

Note from me: Jeez, another Josh Whedon project all planned out . . . and then cut short.

~ Eliza Dushku and Joss Whedon came up with the premise of the show while having lunch and talking about her career options.

Note from me: I used to have lunches and dinners with a group of creative buddies, and we'd spin ideas to each other for movies and shows. I've got a bunch of those wonderfull occasions on tape, recorded in stereo on this gizmo, which I call my Time Saving Device!


~ DOLLHOUSE was part of a FOX campaign called "Remote-Free-TV", which also included fellow-FOX-show FRINGE. Both shows were expected to have dramatically reduced commercial breaks and therefore more actual screen time.

Note from me: I don't understand how that would work. The only way to reduce the number of commercial break and increase the screen time is to . . . sell less commercial time! The network was willing to do that? Shocked

~ As of 2009, this is the lowest rated television drama to get a renewal from a major American television network for a new season in the last 20 years.

Note from me: If it had been anybody but Josh Whedon, I'd suspect the show just sucked. But Pow said, "Like so many terrific sf TV shows it was sadly cancelled all too soon." Sad

~ Joss Whedon's fourth collaboration with Summer Glau.

Note from me: Gee, what has Summer been doing lately? I haven't seen her in a while. Sad

~ Summer Glau joined the series as Bennett Halverson after the cancellation of her television series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles".

Note from me: Miss Glau was terrific in that series! Very Happy

~ Dr. Bennet (Summer Glau) makes several mentions of studying the Amygdala. In Firefly Summer Glau played River Tam, whose Amygdala was stripped, causing her to lose any self control and go insane.

Note from me: Hey, this might explain why my ex-wife . . . well, never mind. Confused

~ The show was originally more focused on the sexual aspect of the characters, but Fox was worried that the Dollhouse theme and their clients would resemble prostitution, so they pushed Joss Whedon to make it more a thriller.

Note from me: Well, I'm pretty sure that sex is . . . well, thrilling. Rolling Eyes

~ In Season 1 Episode 10, "Haunted", the horse trainer wears an outfit that clearly resembles that of Malcolm Reynolds from "Firefly". Both this show and that were created by Joss Whedon.

Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?

Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Galactic Ambassador

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I can't help wondering, Bud, if Joss Whedon found inspiration for Dollhouse from Gerry & Sylvia Anderson's Joe 90 puppet television show from forty-one years earlier?

Thought the same thing in regards to whether the creators of The Pretender were influenced by Joe 90.

I don't mean that I have a problem at all with the later TV shows drawing from Joe 90.

All three series are different enough from one another so as to make 'em all entertaining within their own unique qualities and interior logic.

The late great Bruce Geller who created Mission: Impossible and Mannix, considered a TV series about a man who assumes the identities of other people.

Through the use of plastic surgery, hypnotherapy, and computer training, this man takes on the persona of another individual. He would master, manipulate, and control this new identity and was totally secure while doing so.

Bruce worked with writer Steve Kandel on this concept.

Steve wrote the premise as a man who so deeply immerses himself into the soul and mind of another that the impostor could become trapped in the mind of the person he was imitating.

Interestingly enough, the idea so frightened Bruce according to Kandel that Geller dropped the entire project. Kandel felt that Bruce's intense & horrified reaction to what Steve wrote struck at deep underlying anxieties Bruce had.
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